LANDesk Software Inc. plans to announce a revision of its hardware management tools, with new features designed to help IT workers monitor software licenses and migrate end-user settings during upgrades of PCs, servers and mobile devices.

Joe Wang, chief executive officer (CEO) of South Jordan, Utah-based LANDesk, which last summer was spun off from Intel Corp., said the license monitoring functionality built into LANDesk Management Suite 7 can help IT managers save money by not renewing unneeded licenses. It can also block unauthorized applications from running, via an agent that's installed on computers and that functions even when they're disconnected from networks, Wang said.

Denny Cannon, manager of PC integration at Farm Credit Services of America in Omaha, said he hopes to upgrade to the new version of LANDesk by October. Farm Credit plans to replace 350 laptop PCs next year, and Cannon said he wants to use the software to lessen the need for IT staffers to manually migrate e-mail settings, wallpaper selections, cookies and other end-user preferences.

In March, Farm Credit used an earlier version of LANDesk to upgrade 550 desktop PCs at 45 offices in four states. Cannon said the process took only three weeks, compared with 13 weeks for similar upgrades done in the past. With LANDesk, operating systems and applications could be installed over Farm Credit's network without IT workers having to visit each site, he said.

LANDesk's new features are "helpful but not earth-shattering or groundbreaking," said Fred Broussard, an analyst at IDC. One key benefit is that LANDesk users can get a suite of products "instead of cobbling together products from multiple vendors," he said.